Jan 302013
Japanese archery ceremony in Kashihara Jingu

Momoteshiki is a ceremony performed by Ogasawara school of Japanese archery, usually in religious places as an offering.

In theory 10 archers shoot 10 series of arrows which sums up to 100 series which the ceremony draws its name from, but nowadays the exact number differs.

Japanese archery with a long bow and beautiful ceremonial costumes is definitely worth seeing.

Jan 152013
Archery contest in Sanjusangendo, Kyoto

O-mato Taikai is an annual archery event in Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto.

Thousands of girls who enter their adulthood come to Kyoto to shoot two arrows along the back veranda of the temple famous for its 1000 Buddha statues.

Jan 112013
Celebrating coming of age in Japan - Seijin-no Hi

Second Monday of January is a national holiday in Japan. On that day, all 20-year old celebrate their coming of age.

First they attend official ceremonies in city halls, then they visit shrines and temples to pray for good luck in their adulthood.

It is exactly there, that hungry photographers prey on beautifully dressed young women.

Nov 152012
Shichi-Go-San – probably the cutest holiday in Japan

Shichi-Go-San, in November, should be called the cutest of Japanese holidays.

Its name means simply “Seven-Five-Three,” and on that day, parents of 7- and 3-year old girls, as well as 5-year old boys, visit shrines with their children dressed in colorful kimono.

Nov 072012
Shichi-go-san in Hamamatsu

Nowadays shrines from all over Japan advertise Shichi-go-san, but ceremonial visits to shrines with children have been traditionally limited to the Kanto area.

Hamamatsu is a town right in the middle between Kyoto and Tokyo, but because it used to be a fief of the first Tokugawa shogun, its customs are much closer to Tokyo and Shichi-go-san is very popular there.

May 152012
Mifune Matsuri – boat festival Heian-style

In a beautiful scenery of Arashiyama, a place in western Kyoto, a colorful festival takes place in the middle of May.

After religious ceremonies in Kurumazaki Jinja, the deity of the shrine is transferred to a boat. Then guests on other boats approach and pay homage. Musicians and artists in historical costumes from Heian period, perform dances and stage poetry competitions.